Omar Salha, MA
Omar Salha is a PhD Nohoudh Scholar at the Centre for Islamic Studies and a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS University of London. He was awarded the Nohoudh Scholarship for the study of 'Integration of Muslims in British Society'. His research explores the study of soft-power, diplomacy, sport and integration. His research has been covered by Sky Sports and has also consulted National Olympic Committees, NGOs & Civic Organisations on Sport Diplomacy. His latest published work is titled 'Diplomacy and the Beautiful Game: Muslim footballers as ambassadors of faith' by Routledge. Other research interests include Middle Eastern Politics, International Relations, Islamic Moral Diplomacy, Conflict Resolution, Public Relations and inter-faith dialogue. Elsewhere, Omar has delivered several workshops and seminars at national and international forums surrounding Islamic Diplomacy, Community Engagement, Leadership Development and Youth Empowerment. Omar is also a Faculty Member at the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project (IRDP) at University of California, Berkeley.
He is the Founder and Director of Ramadan Tent Project (RTP), an international award winning social enterprise founded in London, UK in 2011. RTP's mission is to contribute towards positive change through capacity building, social action and community cohesion. RTP's most notable and pioneering project to date is Open Iftar, the world's first community-led global interfaith public iftar campaign, focused on feeding the homeless and inviting people of all faiths, races, beliefs and ages to share a meal during the month of Ramadan and foster community cohesion and empowerment.
Open Iftar has hosted over 40,000 guests across 7 cities and 4 continents including London, Portland, Toronto, Istanbul and Ndola since its inception. In addition, RTP was listed as one of the 50 Most Innovative Global Muslim Startups in 2016 by UmmahWide has generated unprecedented international press coverage from the USA to Malaysia. Featuring in BBC, Channel 4, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, LBC Radio, Geo TV, Al-Arabiya, Newsweek & many more.
Omar Salha is also a founding member of Football Beyond Borders, a UK charity which uses football to inspire young people to achieve their goals and tackle inequality and discrimination. He featured in a documentary titled ‘Over the Wall’, a film about a London-based football team and their journey to play in Palestine. Omar is an active social entrepreneur & humanitarian and has over 15 years of experience working in community projects, advising and consulting on social and charitable causes and is a regular contributor to both international and national print and visual media. Omar speaks Arabic, Turkish and English.